Juvenile Community Accountability Program
WHAT IS JCAP?
JCAP is a diversion program for first and second time youth offenders who are held accountable using restorative practices. When harm has been caused to individuals or to the community, those responsible for the harm have an obligation to make things right.
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Here are the five ways the diversion program is used to reduce the rate of recidivism
THE JCAP APPROACH
Meets the community’s need to know that something meaningful has taken place
Includes those directly impacted
Helps those directly impacted find common ground
Holds the young person accountable in real time
Provides the young person with a way to put things right
Is handled in the community by trained community members
Builds community connections
Interrupts the cycle of entry into the juvenile justice system!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does it work?
The person(s) harmed are invited to participate in a restorative conference with the responsible young person, along with supporters for both sides such as parents, friends, or family.
Everyone gets an opportunity to speak and have their story heard. Restorative questions are asked of each side:
• What happened?
• What were you thinking about at the time?
• What have you thought about since?
• Who has been affected by what you have done, and in what way? • What do you think needs to happen to put things right?
• What did you think when you realized what had happened?
• What impact has this incident had on you and on others?
• What has been the hardest thing for you?
• What do you think needs to happen to make things right?
What are the benefits of participating in a restorative conference?
The person harmed is given a space to be heard, to say how their life has been changed as a result of the harm caused to them and be included in the outcome; they have a say in how the young person is held accountable.
By meeting the needs of those they have harmed the young person is able to deepen their capacity for empathy and directly connect the consequences of their actions.
What happens if the harmed person(s) doesn’t wish to participate?
If the person(s) harmed do not wish to participate in a restorative conference, they can still have input into how the young person is held accountable by expressing their needs to the facilitator.
How is the young person held accountable if the harmed party is not present?
The assigned facilitator will meet with the young person and their parent/guardian to discuss the reason for the referral. They will encourage the young person to talk about what was going on at the time, and explain what caused them to cause harm. They will discuss the impact of the harm caused, and discuss how they can put it right in a manner that meets the needs of all concerned.
Taking all this into account, and using SMART goals, the facilitator will write up an accountability contract that directly ties the nature of the wrong doing to the accountability sanctions.
It is very important for the responsible young person to be able to connect the consequence of their actions with how they make amends.
Upon completion of the accountability contract, the young person retains a clean record and can move forward with their life empowered by having taken responsibility to put things right.